June 14th, 2024 | 5:24

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Justice confirms that death leave begins on the first business day

Mairenis Gomez

May 23, 2024 | 2:30 p.m.

The Supreme Court clarifies the beginning of the calculation of business days for death permits

The Supreme Court has resolved several disputes regarding the article of the Workers' Statute, which includes the number of days without specifying whether they are business days or natural days. This paid leave allows workers to be absent for two days in the event of the death of a second-degree relative by blood or affinity. Family members included include spouse, common-law partner, parents, children, siblings, grandparents and grandchildren. This permission can be extended to four days if it is necessary to travel to another city, autonomous community or country.

The Supreme Court establishes that death permits begin on the first business day

Absence from the job due to death is contemplated in article 37.3 of the Workers' Statute. However, this article does not specify whether it refers to calendar or business days, which has generated numerous legal disputes. For example, if a family member dies on a Friday afternoon, when does the leave start counting? Saturday or Monday? This ambiguity has caused conflicts between employers and employees, and on several occasions has been resolved by the Court.

Ambiguity in the Workers' Statute regarding business and calendar days on permits

The text of the Statute only mentions "days" without specifying whether they are business days or natural days, except in the case of the marriage permit, which does indicate that they are "fifteen calendar days." The Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) recognizes that this point is not clear either in the Statute or in the collective agreements. Therefore, it recommends paying attention to the rulings that have resolved these issues.

Based on jurisprudence, it is considered that in the "short permits" are business days, and they begin to be counted from the first business day. In the case of "long leave" such as marriage, both working and non-working days are included, starting the count from the same day on which the event occurs.

Relevant rulings on the calculation of death permits

Furthermore, the Supreme Court has addressed this issue in several rulings. In one of them (STS 148/2018) it resolved an appeal filed by the CGT, CCOO and UGT unions regarding the interpretation of the collective agreement for the telephone service sector. In this resolution, the Supreme Court contradicted a first ruling by the National Court favorable to the company. The Supreme Court ruling established that if the day on which the event that justifies the permit occurs is not a working day, the permit does not begin until the first following working day. This principle applies to leave due to marriage, birth of a child or death of a family member.

The Supreme Court has resolved several disputes regarding the article of the Workers' Statute,

Additional cases and the position of the unions

The USO union has compiled other resolutions of the high court (SSTS no. 257/2020, of March 17, no. 229/2020, of March 11, no. 811/2020, of September 29) that unanimously dictate that, when If the event causing the leave occurs on a non-working day for the worker, the leave must be counted from the first following working day. The union emphasizes that the purpose of the permits is not to grant a break, but rather to free the worker from going to work without loss of pay to attend to an urgent personal situation.

Without a doubt, these judicial decisions provide clarity about the start of the calculation of leave due to death and other similar events., ensuring that workers can have the necessary time to address these situations without affecting their labor rights.

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